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I like to get a general idea of what everyone here (who has fully restored a car from beginning to end) has spent on their cars. I'm just weighting the cost between buying one that is already restored to one that needs it. Please include a quick break down of what you spent and how much, to get your car to completion. (parts, body work, paint job, drive train work, etc) Thanks.
 

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I have around 25-30k in my 72 and it was completed about 6 years ago. i have about the same amount in my 69 and it is not finished yet. My 69 still needs paint. Depending on how far you want to go and who does the work it can cost up to 40-50k or more.
 

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Avg. cost of full restore

I've always believed that unless you LOVE doing the work, it's ALWAYS less expensive to buy a completed car than to try and do it yourself start to finish and come out ahead.......just doesn't happen. Plus the lost time you could be driving your car instead of working on it............:yes:
 

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Buy it done or close to it. And another point worth remembering. No matter how much $ you put in to it you will not get the $ out of it if you sell it down the road.Sorry just won't happen as much as we all think our cars are perfect and worth every penny the other guy is just like us when we are looking to buy we want a bargain or we keep looking.
Just my .02
 

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My opinion is that you can buy one cheaper than you can build one.

However, take a little from both sides of the question (buy or build).

Buy the car of your choice that has a good body and is drivable.

It may need lots of improvements, but you can drive it as you fix it up.
 

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Rebuild costs

Engine 3500-8000
paint 7000-12000
interior 3500-5000
suspension 3500-8000
add ons and extras 1500-3000

doing it yourself- priceless
 

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The thing about buying a car that's already done is that you have to trust someone else's workmanship. I bought a car that was driveable, came with a tonne of receipts/all work documented, but things started to crap out fairly quickly and I found myself having to fix things that I thought were good for a while.

I'm not saying that's always the case, just another perspective on things... when you do stuff yourself or have it done by someone with a great reputation that you trust, that's when you really know what's going on with your car, IMO...

The cost also depends on whether you can/want to do a lot of the work yourself.
 

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here's my opinion on the subject... say you walk into a showroom and buy that nice car with all the options on it you want, say a new Camaro, Challenger or Mustang... what is that, 30-35-45K? now add the finance charges over, what, 5 years? how much will you end up paying for the car in the end?

now take that car you bought for 2K-5K and save and buy and save and buy and work on the car over a 5 to even 7 year time frame and what will you have invested? the same 25-35-45K? yeah, very possibly so if you take it to a level that takes the 35-45K investment... you see a lot of really bitchen cars for the 20-25K range and the biggest thing of what i'm trying to say is that 20-25K car is actually worth MORE than your investment in a lot of cases and it's APPRECIATING... not DEPRECIATING like that new car did the absolute second you signed your name.

you buy a new car for 35K and the instant you bought it it's not worth the money you've paid for it.

i think it better to own a Classic, HotRod or Muscle car that'll hold the value than a cookie-cutter car that anyone/everyone can buy :yes: :yes: :yes:

another good thing is when you've finished the car no lien holder, it's YOURS :yes:
 

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This is a classic question and I can tell allready that by the time all the answers come in you will be no farther ahead than when you first asked it!!:rolleyes:
Every answer I read so far is a good one.
I agree that you can probably buy a finished or almost done car for less than $0.50 on the dollar of what was invested.
There is more satisfaction doing / building a car yourself.
Frustration levels could be the same if, as someone else said "stuff starts going wrong with your purchase" Building a car --everyone knows is a frustrating deal.

But it boils down to what I read in a magizine a while ago.

There are people in this world that drive'm and people in this world that build'em. It takes both to make the HotRod world go round.
 

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I think it also depends on how you want it rebuilt. Are you looking for a stock rebuild? Pro-touring? Mild build? It's all going to change your cost. I'm doing a pro-touring build with all high end parts and by the time I'm done, I will likely be at 40k for parts alone. And I'm doing all the work myself. No way I'd get that when I try to sell it. For me it's a hobby and it allows me to escape reality when I go into the shop, that's why I'm doing mine. If I had the money and a stress free life.....I'd buy one that was already done.
 

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30,000+ for a nice mostly stock rebuild if you do most of it yourself. Very easy to overbuild and spend a lot to make it special. Then you end up with a car that it to nice to drive and have fun with. Lots cheaper to but one already done but be careful what you buy, I have seen cars at car shows that look great to most people but I would be afraid to drive them.
 

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if u dont do any of the work your self it is an expensive hobby and if your going to buy a finished car u beter have a prety good eye i have seen people get snookered a time or two :yes:
 

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Buy it done or close to it. And another point worth remembering. No matter how much $ you put in to it you will not get the $ out of it if you sell it down the road.Sorry just won't happen as much as we all think our cars are perfect and worth every penny the other guy is just like us when we are looking to buy we want a bargain or we keep looking.
Just my .02
This is the classic answer to the classic question! However, I went about it a bit differently: I bought a car that was a basket case, but was complete, #'s matching, with paperwork, and was rare. I did all of the work myself, including engine, paint, welding, etc... I farmed out the rebuilding of the starter, alt, brake booster, water pump, rad recore, and seat covers (they had to be made from the correct material). When I bought the car I figured I'd be upside down when I was done, but I didn't car - I wanted this car, in this condition (affordable - barely), and I wanted the experience of doing it myself and then driving/racing/cruising in my own car.

If it cost more than a dollar, I tracked it. Here is what I spent:

  • Body Costs $6,449.29 (of this amount $1,593.79 was just for paint/paint supplies!)
  • Chassis/Frame Costs $2,587.25
  • Interior Costs$1,807.83
  • Engine Costs $6,204.97
  • Transmission Costs $522.96
  • Rear Costs $327.99
    • Total Costs $17,900.29

This does not include the price I paid for the basket case, but I got a fair deal on it in '96 value terms. So, per the above quote - it is not always a definite case of 'no matter how much you put into it, you will not get it back out'. I'm sure I can recover my purchase $ and my investment $'s! :yes:
 

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I like to get a general idea of what everyone here (who has fully restored a car from beginning to end) has spent on their cars. I'm just weighting the cost between buying one that is already restored to one that needs it. Please include a quick break down of what you spent and how much, to get your car to completion. (parts, body work, paint job, drive train work, etc) Thanks.
Carolina Kustoms in Portland Or quoted an average muscle car build is 30-35K in there shop. This includes motor and tranny rebuild with upgrades to your brakes and suspension. I have to admit this will not mean you can replace your subframe or put 14" disc brakes on but it would be a potent street car.
I have always been told it is cheaper to buy it built, but then you have someone elses dream car in your garage.
 

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Im at 26K including the 5K for the car. This does not include parts I put on and upgraded later. I still need body, Paint, Interior, and a stereo.

motor 470Hp, paddle shift four speed, 12 bolt rear with posi, big wheels, subframe and front suspension replaced, and 13/12" disc brakes

As per the previous members post, my invested cash will be way above the retained value of the car. But it will be one of a kind.
 

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I am just finishing up on a 69. In 95 I purchased a complete Arizona rust free car for $2300.00 and it cost me $500.00 to go out and trailer it back. (Even though its a rust free car there is still some rust to deal with, you just have to find it.)
I did a nuts and bolts restoration doing absolutely everthing that I could do to it myself. I had the machine shop take care of the engine components but rebuilt the motor myself. I did the media blasting, any welding needed, body work and painting, and reassembly. The cost of the paint and supplies which I got at cost was $1000.00. I cleaned or restored all the original pieces such as trim, emblems, etc. I even cleaned blasted and used 80% of the clips,fasteners and bolts. Also did the interior work, seat were fine to clean and reuse. needed door panels. In addition to this I apent time locating the best price for an item I needed, purchase several items at a time to cut combine shipping. I have a little under $15000.00 including the purchase price of the car. This price does not include the price of a pressure blaster. Mig welder, specialty tools. and the cost to have a place to work in year round. All that said and done I would not trade the experience for anything and have started on the next car.
 
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